Israeli Navy commandos from Shayetet 13, the unit which murdered nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara, attached a bomb to the hull of Gaza’s Ark, a ship hoping to participate in a Freedom Flotilla project to dramatize Israel’s siege against Gaza. The ship was sunk last night in Gaza harbor. My Israeli source confirms this act of state terror was performed by the Navy commandos. It is part of a strategy that stresses deterrence rather than the confrontation which ended in such a humanitarian and PR disaster for Israel after the Marmara massacre.
A military source told my Israeli colleague:
“As part of the lessons we learned from the Marmara operation, we decided to prefer “Sol Phryne“-like operations. In such operations no one is killed, and they are a good training for our fighters to sneak underwater into hostile harbors and sink ships”.
With the noblesse oblige typical of the Israeli military the source sees this as a training “opportunity” rather than an outright act of state terror as an unarmed civilian ship was destroyed outside of Israeli territory. There can be no excuse for such Israeli attacks whose only purpose is to avoid future Israeli embarrassment at the dramatization of its illegal siege against Gaza.
This statement reminds me of Nazi support for Franco’s forces during the Spanish Civil War. The German army similarly used the fighting as training exercises for their pilots as they attacked Spanish civilians targets in places like Guernica.
One of the former commanders of Shayetet 13 and the Israeli Navy, Zeev Almog, was recently accused of committing a war crime by sinking a civilian ship during Israel’s first war in Lebanon. He was also accused of engaging in reckless military actions which got his own personnel killed. A member of the Israeli forum, Fresh, suggested that a submarine fired on a civilian ship during the war and sunk it. Almog has announced in the media that he will sue the man who was a deputy commander under his leadership, Mike Eldar, for making such accusations. Despite repeated attempts, I have not been able to speak with Eldar to confirm this report. It seems Shayetet 13 has a long, honored tradition of killing civilians during peacetime and wartime.
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